That’s the cover of Redbook‘s May issue that featured a terrific review of The Violets of March—yay! I decided to share that today because it has to do with this week’s topic: big breaks. And, I’d like to talk about how magazines have played a role in my career so far.
It was always a dream of mine to be an author, but I didn’t know exactly how that would happen. I’d toyed with novel ideas since I was in high school, but nothing jumped out at me, and frankly, I didn’t know how to write a novel. How did one do this? So, I set the dream aside and pressed on. I put my journalism degree into practice and began freelancing for magazines, not knowing then, however, that magazine-writing would be the jump-start I would need to gain the discipline and creativity to actually write a book, and the contacts and connections to sell it.
True, you don’t need to be a magazine writer to write a book. Of course you don’t. But for me it helped immensly. It kept me disciplined (nothing like a deadline to get you writing), flexed my creative muscles (daily), and introduced me to many bookish people. In fact, the lovely author, and fellow magazine writer, Allison Winn Scotch (who I connected with while working on a SELF magazine assignment) introduced me to her agent, Elisabeth Weed, and voila—the rest is history.
So, yes, I credit magazines for where I am today—one book soon to be debuting, another one coming out in a year, and another in process. (P.S. My very first assignment was from Marie Claire when I was fresh out of college. I still have fond memories of the assignment email I received from the editor there at the time.)
What’s your favorite magazine?
10 Replies to “Deb Sarah on Becoming a Novelists By Way of Magazine-Writing”
Wow! How great is it that your book is being prescribed? So COOL! 🙂
I am a total magazine lover. I get great ideas for stories from them, but I also just love to read them! Since you mentioned Marie Claire, I will say I think they’re great – I could care less about the clothing and makeup pieces, but I always find their international stories fascinating enough to make up for the fact that I skim through half of the magazine!
Oh how I love magazines. Don’t think I could choose just one favorite. Though Food & Wine, Entertainment Weekly, and New York are up there. (And you can guess which one is my favorite this month, hee! Oprah!)
Sarah, I could have written this post myself. (And my first magazine assignment–at least from a mag I didn’t work for!–was also Marie Claire :)I think the discipline and deadline-driven approach that magazine assignments require help so much when it comes to completing a manuscript.
I never buy magazines, but I’m dashing out to the grocery store to pick this one up ASAP! Way cool!
When I started freelancing full-time so that I’d have time to work on my novel, I mainly wrote for magazines. I completely agree that it helps on so many different levels!
Congrats on being featured in Redbook! I had a quick question–do you find that your connections with magazine editors has helped in promoting the book?
Make way Kardashians. You may talk but Sarah can write!
Congrats on being featured in Redbook!!
I love Shape and Self… love Real Simple and crave the life in its pages… devoted to my Time and Newsweek fixes, tho they’ve gone downhill a bit… and Entertainment Weekly is my beloved guilty pleasure.
People and Us are two I’d never buy… but I GRAB them when I see them in a waiting room.
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